Polis: We cut taxes and funded schools this session but that’s not all

The 2024 session of the General Assembly has just ended, and elected lawmakers and I have kept our promise to Coloradans and delivered real results on the issues that matter most: efforts to reduce the high cost of housing, making historic investments in convenient transit, saving Coloradans a billion dollars on their property taxes, reducing the income tax rate, fully funding schools, making Colorado safer, reducing childhood poverty and protecting our environment for future generations.

Together, we’ve laid the foundation for the future of our state. A stronger, safer,  more affordable future where every person can thrive.

It hasn’t always been easy, but by bringing people to the table — people who don’t often agree — and finding innovative solutions to our most complex challenges, we got it done.

It’s about refusing to back down on our promises and putting Coloradans first. Because at the end of the day, our accomplishments are Colorado’s accomplishments. By working together in the true Colorado Way, we took on big issues, and we got the job done to deliver real results on the issues that matter most to Coloradans.

In my State of the State address this year, I called on the legislature to act, and to act now, to address the high cost of housing – something that 95% of Coloradans across all political parties, all backgrounds, all parts of our state, agree is top of mind.

And today, I am proud that we are delivering on the promise of more housing now, giving Coloradans the freedom to build an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) on their own property, creating more housing options near transit, getting rid of unfair occupancy limits, and eliminating parking requirements that increase housing costs.

In my State of the State address this year, I outlined my vision of transit-oriented and connected communities that can create a better future for our state saving people time and money and improving our air quality.

And today, I am proud that we are delivering on the promise of Front Range Rail, boosting low-cost, reliable transit options that mean less time stuck in traffic and better air quality for us all.

And we didn’t stop there.

We are saving Coloradans historic amounts of money on their taxes. In the last few days of the session, the legislature voted to cut over $1.7 billion in income and property taxes. Next year, compared to current law, Coloradans will save over $1.7 billion dollars on taxes, keeping their hard-earned money in their pockets. Every year that I’ve been in office, I’ve fought to decrease the income tax rate for all Coloradans, and this year, we are getting it done and reducing our income tax from 4.4% to 4.25%.

We are fully funding education for the first time in 14 years, putting more than $17,000 into each Colorado classroom to ensure students and teachers have the resources they need to thrive.

We are making it free for Colorado students making under $90,000 to get a two -year degree.

We are cracking down on auto theft, doubling down on our data-driven investments, and already we are seeing real results with auto theft already down 30% this year.

We are making historic investments in our health care workforce, with a new medical school in Greeley that will train the next generation of doctors and health care workers.

We are making key investments in clean air while protecting business certainty in our state by bringing oil and gas producers and environmental groups together – parties who don’t often see eye to eye – to reach agreement and prevent costly and divisive ballot measures, reduce pollution, and invest in low-emissions transit options.

Every step of the way, we’ve remained laser-focused on our goal: to build a strong, safe, affordable Colorado now and for generations to come. And together with the legislature these past five months, that’s exactly what we’ve done.

Jared Polis is the governor of Colorado.

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